As New Zealand music makers - from artists, producers, managers and promoters - continue to make their mark in all corners of the globe, the industry’s future movers and shakers are gearing up to graduate from a groundbreaking 15-week youth project.
The Ignite programme launched in March 2016 with the aim of engaging and involving young Aucklanders, aged 15 to 18, in the music business. IGNITE has been made possible with support from the Ministry of Youth Development, MAINZ and NZ Music Commission.
The 10 participants come from a wide range of backgrounds (see below for profiles on three of the participants) and have been mentored by some of the most successful operators in Kiwi music, including Lorraine Barry, Teresa Patterson and Wairere Iti, who were all sponsored by the NZ Music Managers Forum (MMF).
A number of other high profile industry leaders also ran free public seminars in event management and marketing and publicity.
The participants have designed, developed and delivered a wide range of of music-based events, from a Music Therapy New Zealand fundraiser, featuring jazz band Terracotta Cat, to a 5 Seconds of Summer fan party, and the all-ages Millennials gig, which included Brendon Thomas & the Vibes and Yukon Era on the line-up.
“There are so many great initiatives, such as The Rockquest and Play It Strange, which foster musicianship and songwriting. But I felt like there was a need for a programme to help develop people who work behind the scenes and to support the great artistry that exists in New Zealand,” says IGNITE founder Savina Kim.
“I wanted to help young people discover the various areas and careers that exist in the music and events industry. Throughout this process, young people would also create performance opportunities for young and emerging artists, all the while producing events which are for all ages, rather than R18 events.”
Savina says she’s been overwhelmed with the success of IGNITE in its first year. “Four years ago, it was just an idea in my head and it’s been amazing to see it all happen. I’m so fortunate to have had the most passionate and driven young people take part.
“Everyone has learnt a lot of new skills but the thing that sticks out for me is seeing the participants’ confidence and self-esteem levels grow and also the friendships that have developed. Some of the participants also really impressed their mentors and have been offered work opportunities, which is what the programme is all about!”
Now 15 weeks of blood, sweat and toil culminates with a graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 23 at MAINZ, where each participant will give a presentation on their learnings from the programme and their event. One deserving teen will ALSO be awarded the IGNITE Scholarship to study Diploma in Music and Event Management at MAINZ in 2017.
IGNITE participants include:
Hunter Keane: Hunter has just turned 18 and in his last year at Western Springs College. He signed up to the IGNITE programme because he felt he'd missed his chance to learn a musical instrument but still wanted to be a part of the music industry. With the help of his mentor Anthony Metcalf, Hunter ran a show with The Leers to mark the release of the alt-indie rockers’ debut album Are You Curious. Hunter enjoyed the process of organising, even through the many obstacles along the way. ”One moment that comes to mind is when I was standing there, watching these bands play, and I got the ‘I did this!’ moment. It was crazy to think how far I had come in 15 weeks because if I had attempted this before the programme it would've gone terribly.”
Savannah Murphy: The 16-year-old musician was drawn to IGNITE because she was looking for an opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn how events come together, from planning to delivery. “The IGNITE programme has taught me so much about what goes on in order to run an event, and there is a lot. I've never appreciated the amount of work that goes into events.” Savannah chose to run a 5 Seconds Of Summer fan party. “I believe fan culture is a really important thing. A lot of us struggle with fitting in, whether that be at school or at home, but we have friends within each other. This band has brought us together. They've given a lot of people hope and inspiration and a place to belong and I wanted to celebrate that.”
Rose Fitzgerald: Rose has always been interested in event management and has often thought about finding a career in this field. She took part in IGNITE to gain insight into what it could be like and to gain a range of skills and experience. She is 18 and is studying Bachelor of Business at AUT. Rose teamed up with 15-year-old Izaak Glynn to put on an event with headliners Brendon Thomas & The Vibes. “I've learnt so many skills as well as getting tips from my mentor Teresa Patterson. I would definitely recommend IGNITE programme to anyone interested in music or events and ready for a challenge. It builds a platform of connections, plus pulling off a gig is a great feeling!”
Lorraine Barry has been Dave Dobbyn’s manager since 2004 and worked with the likes of Massive Attack, Neneh Cherry, Chemical Brothers and The Spice Girls.
Teresa Patterson is a partner in CRS Music Management, which represents clients such as The Naked and Famous and Brooke Fraser. As part of the CRS team, Teresa’s also been one of the driving forces behind some of the country’s most successful past and present music events, including the Big Day Out and Auckland City Limits.
Wairere Iti has worked in the industry for more than 20 years in a range of roles and as a tour manager he has clocked up tens of thousands of kilometres across the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with the likes of Six60 and Iva Lamkum.